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About

Zbyněk Matějů is a contemporary classical music composer. He is well known for his ballet, scenic and film music, and for his symphony works. He has received many international awards for his compositions. His winning of an award in Donauballett Competition in 1994 in Amsterdam was followed by a prestigious commission for the Holland Dance Festival.  He worked together with the famous choreographer Martino Müller. Their ballet Secret Life had its first night in the Nederlands Dans Theater (Den Haag) in October, 1995. Additionally, Matějů received the award for Minicomedies by Pierr-Henri Cami. Finally, he was awarded in the Voya Toncitch Competition in Paris and the Czech Music Council Prize (UNESCO) in 1999 for his work in the field of music theatre.“Krabat” was one of the most visited titles in the National Theatre scene. Not only was it praised for its music, choreography and scenography, but it was also declared by music critics to be the best ballet work in the last three years on the Czech stage. The ballet “The Little Mermaid” has been on the National Theatre program since November 2016; it, too, is one of the most popular shows the theater has to offer.

 

    • At the Prague Conservatoire, Matějů studied with Jindřich Feld. At the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, he also studied with Jiří Pauer. He has enriched his education with the help of Petr Eben and Svatopluk Havelka, and has even taken a class with Zbigniew Rudzinsky abroad.
    • Matějů successfully works with world-famous choreographs, librettists, directors, and film and television scriptwriters (e.g. Raiford Rogers, Martino Müller, Bruni Castejon, Wendy Baker, Jan Švankmajer, Adolf Born, Miloš Macourek, Petr Zuska, Jan Kodet, SKUTR, Alice Nellis, Pavel Jandourek, Arnošt Goldfam, Karel Smyczek, Jiří Strach, Pavel Šmok, Bohdan Sláma, Miloš Zvěřina, Pavel Kubant etc).
    • Matějů taught at The Prague Conservatoire in the first half of 1990s before he worked at the Conservatoire and University in Tours. Currently, he teaches at the Department of Composition at the Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Prague (AMU in Prague). He also works as an external professor at Janáček Academy of Music and Performing Arts in Brno (JAMU in Brno).
    • Matějů has also received a commission for the French Ensemble Fractal. This was followed by other commissions for the Deutshe Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Duo Moderno Basso New York, the symphonic orchestra in Dubai, etc.
    • In 1997, Matějů created a free adaptation of the baroque opera “Ezio” by Johann Adolf Hasse, which was commissioned by the Bayreuther Festspiele in 1998. The opera was performed in the occasion of the 250th anniversary of the Markgrafliches Opernhaus.
    • The European success of the ballet “Secret Life” (Dear Life 1994, choreography by Martin Müller, Den Haag) and of the full-length chamber ballet “Komboloi” (1997, choreography by Petr Zuska) resulted in further commissions of full-length ballets by renowned ensembles (“The Wizard of Oz, “IBBUR”, “Kevel”, “The Garden”).
    • At present, it is possible to see the production of “The Little Prince” at the Laterna Magica at the National Theatre. Zbyněk Matějů worked on this piece with the director Vladimír Morávek (premiere – April 1st, 2016).
    • The National Theatre’s repertoire includes the ballets “Krabat” (premiere: 2013) and “The Little Mermaid” (choreography by Jan Kodet, directed by SKUTR). The world premiere of The Little Mermaid was November 10th, 2016. It is still one of the most visited performances at the National Theatre Theater.
    • After a world premiere of the ballet commissioned by  famous American choreographer Raiford Rogers – “Still Life” (2015) which took place at Luckman Theatre in Los Angeles, came the new commissions for large symphony works: “Joshua Tree Symphony” (prem. August 2017, Los Angeles) a Zion Symphony” (for prem. in 2019, LA);
    • Matějů is one of the most played contemporary middle aged composers. His modern poetic chamber compositions are especially beloved and researched among musicians today. He has also written several compositions for his wife, harpist Barbora Váchalová. Barbora and Zbyněk raise three children.